Orphan Survival Stories Index |
"Let's get up. It's 7:30 a.m. It's Sunday and you have a lot of work to do today," she said as she turned the bedroom light on.
I opened my eyes and stretched my arms above my head as far as they would go. My body felt totally exhausted from a hard week’s work. I sat up on the side of my bed and tried to clear my head.
"Let's go! Breakfast in 30 minutes," she yelled.
I walked to the bathroom and turned on the shower. After adjusting the temperature, I just stood with eyes closed, allowing the warm water to run down my face and body. Carefully, I washed my arms and sore legs. After rinsing, I grabbed the towel and dried off. Then I went back to the bedroom where I made my bed and dressed as fast as I could. I brushed off my shoes with my bedspread and placed them on my feet. Then I walked to the dining room to eat.
"Father, we thank thee for this food. Amen," I said aloud as I sat down at the breakfast table.
By 8:30 a.m., I had finished my breakfast. I got up from the table and went to the bathroom where I washed my hands and brushed my teeth. Then I walked to the broom closet where I took out a metal mop bucket, a rag and a brush for scrubbing the floor. I filled the bucket with hot water and powered soap, and carried it to the end of the long hallway. The hallway was 50 feet long and four feet wide. There were 200 one-foot square tiles that had to be scrubbed, waxed and buffed before lunch.
The kids were in church until afternoon. Sunday was the only day of the week that I could scrub, wax and shine the hallway. Carefully, I got down on my knees and began scrubbing.
"Tile one, tile two, tile three," I counted as I slowly scrubbed backwards down the long hallway. By the time I reached tile 20, my arms and legs ached with pain. My knees were sore and my back hurt. I got up and walked to the broom closet where I took out several rags. I tore them into wide strips and tied them around my knees to make kneepads. I then went back to scrubbing the floor.
"Tile 102, tile 103," I continued to count as I slid myself backwards. Once in a while, I would take the rag, dip it in the cleaning water and press it against my knees, which made them sting a little.
By 10 o'clock, I finally reached the end of the hallway. My knees were sore and skinned from pushing backwards. I got to my feet and emptied my bucket of dirty water. I ran myself a bucket of clear rinse water and headed back down the long hallway to start the process all over again at tile number one.
At about 11 o'clock, I finished rinsing all the tiles in the hallway. I took a five-minute break to allow the floor to completely dry. I then took the liquid wax and a rag, and worked from square to square, until the entire hallway had been covered. After the wax dried, I took two squares of a wool blanket and walked, sliding my feet back and forth, up and down the hallway shining the floor to a bright luster.
By two o'clock, the hallway floor was finished and I headed up to the two upstairs bathrooms to scrub the toilets, shower, sinks and bathroom floors. After completing that task, I headed downstairs to clean the one bathroom, which was located by the large living room.
By four o'clock, I finished all three bathrooms. I then went back to the closet where I grabbed my metal mop bucket. Once again, I filled it with hot water and soap. I then took my bags of rags and my scrub brush, and started cleaning, rinsing, waxing and shining the two staircases located at each side of the large building.
By five o'clock, the staircases were done. I then put all my cleaning supplies away and headed out to the large back yard. I took a leaf rake and raked any pine straw and leaves, which might have fallen during the night. Even if there were no leaves, I still had to make the yard look good by making rake marks in the dirt so it looked neat, even and clean.
At about six o'clock, I was called to supper. I was rather hungry because we did not eat a lunch on Sunday - only breakfast and supper.
"Father, we thank thee for this food. Amen," I said before eating my one peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a small slice of watermelon.
After finishing my supper, I went to the bathroom where I brushed my teeth and washed my hands. Then I walked to the television room where I watched "The Wonderful World of Disney." I then got up from my chair and went upstairs. I walked into my room where I turned down my spread and sheet at a 45-degree angle. I took off my clothes and put on my pajamas. Then I walked over and turned off the bedroom light.
Slowly and carefully, I felt my way back over to my bed. I then knelt down on the floor and placed my hands together on the bed. I lowered my head against my hands and said, "Dear God. Please forgive me for working on a Sunday. I know that you’re not supposed to do that. I think it's one of the Golden Rules or something. It is almost my birthday and I will be 8-years-old. Please let a mommy and daddy come and take me away from this orphanage place. I promise you that I will love them forever. I really will. Amen."